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Behind the Visuals: The Power of Surgical Animations in Court

We are often asked by clients whether 3D surgical animations can truly add value to their personal injury cases, or whether operative reports, X-Rays and MRIs are enough. Many attorneys have expressed that they feel like the raw medical reports are sufficient when representing their clients; however, some attorneys have already figured out how to leverage courtroom animations – and, in doing so, have been able to secure considerably higher verdicts and settlements for their clients.

So, how do surgical animations help these attorneys become more successful in litigation?

To answer that question, we first need to dive deeper into what surgical animations are, as pertaining to litigation. These animations can serve as a tool to demonstrate the damages a person has suffered – and to tell their story accurately, plainly, and concisely. According to Rachel Bajema, Creative Director of Medical Illustration and Animation at DK Global, “It’s the only way to tell accurate stories. We want to understand exactly what happened – exactly what the story is.”

In short, surgical animations can help everyone involved to understand in a very real way what happened to the injured party, and why it warrants the amount of compensation being sought through litigation.

The key, however, is accuracy. Rachel, for example, brings a wealth of physiological knowledge to the table for DK Global’s surgical animations. She has a bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences from USC, a master’s degree in Biomedical Visualization from the University of Illinois, Chicago, and Medical Illustrator Certification from the Association of Medical Illustrators.

On top of education, expertise, and experience, Rachel also exhibits candid honesty and unwavering trustworthiness. “We’re trying to show only what we know, and not more than we can guess,” says Rachel. “Then, we can reasonably say that we’re not looking to exaggerate an injury, exaggerate malpractice or a situation — we want to know exactly what happened and show that to the best of our abilities.”

What, then, is the proper way to approach a surgical animation so that it won’t be thrown out in court? “Mostly there are going to be operative reports,” says Rachel. “Sometimes we’re looking at radiology reports, where there will be certain write-ups. Often, if it’s a surgical procedure, we’re going through the [operative] reports and looking at the story the surgeon is telling, trying to put together that timeline and the way that everything occurred.”

As we all know, surgeries are very personal. From the initial trauma to the methods employed in the operating room, surgical animations need to show how the clients were uniquely impacted; they need to precisely depict damages and align with demand packages. Rachel explains, “We’re often building the anatomy backwards, based on what the imagery looks like, to show in detail what the injury is, what we can tell about it – and then working from there, using the op reports to tell the story in a way that’s going to be different for every case.”

An accurate, impactful medical animation should be a tool that every trial attorney leverages to complement a powerful legal argument. It’s a cornerstone to maximizing case outcomes by making sure that the judge, jury, and even the opposition understand the full extent of a client’s damages. And ensuring that you have the best tool in your arsenal requires working with a courtroom animation firm that will invest themselves into your case: if DK Global can help illustrate your client’s surgery, please contact us today.

 


"We often build the anatomy backwards, based off what the imagery looks like, to show in detail what the injury is, what we can tell about it - and then work from there, using the operative reports to tell the story."
Rachel Bajema, Creative Director of Medical Illustration and Animation
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